University police arrested a nude man wandering through the corridors of Territorial Hall early Sunday morning.
But it was staff members who initially caught and questioned the man, who is not a University student.
“He got into the building, took off his clothes in the fourth floor bathroom and just wandered around, naked,” said Larissa Jeroslow, Territorial Hall director.
According to the police report, the man, 22, repeatedly gave staff members and police false information.
“He said he was visiting a friend who lived down the hall, but I knew he was lying because he was in the woman’s part of the floor,” Jeroslow said.
The suspect also allegedly tried to force his way into the women’s bathroom, but acted strangely apologetic when he approached or bumped into residents.
“Some were laughing, but a lot of them, mostly women, were shocked,” Jeroslow said.
Territorial Hall staff members initially approached the man and dressed him in a bathrobe. But soon after, the man allegedly undressed himself and continued to wander the halls.
When he was approached a second time by a resident, the suspect lied about his identity.
“He peeked around the corner and saw us,” said Chad Pahl, a community adviser who witnessed the event. “He turned and ran down the hall. We yelled at him from the stairwell and he stopped. Then we took him into the bathroom and questioned him.”
After the second encounter, residents reported the suspect to University police.
The suspect was charged with giving false information and disorderly conduct. He spent 36 hours in Hennepin County Jail. He could not be reached for comment.
In other police news:
ù Three small models of a human fetus were stolen from a display on the first floor of Coffman Memorial Union sometime between Thursday and Friday.
Valued at $1,000 to $1,500, the models, which depict the third, fifth and seventh month of fetal gestation, were part of a display organized by Maranatha Christian Fellowship. The stolen models belonged to the nonprofit organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
Maranatha Pastor Johnathan Bislew, who reported the crime, said it seemed like an attempt to block the display’s message.
The display was designed by Amber Harpel, president of the Maranatha Christian Fellowship.
“We’re not trying to cause any trouble, we’re just trying to have our free speech,” Bislew said. “I’m assuming someone is against that.”
Harpel said the display is for the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion.
“Sometimes people don’t want to face up to it, but abortion is a truth and a reality,” Harpel said.
Bislew said as far as he knew, the display case was either forced open by hand or unlocked by someone with a key. According to the police report, the case was forced open.
Bislew said the Maranatha fellowship would have to drum up the money to replace the lost models.
The break-in occurred only three months after a Maranatha Christian Fellowship religious banner was torn down from the face of Coffman and stolen.
“That’s two major incidents in just three months,” Bislew said. “It seems like someone wants us censored.
ù About $500 worth of Watermen ball point and fountain pens were stolen Jan. 2 from a display case at the University Health Sciences bookstore in Moos Towers.
The crime occurred at 1:35 p.m., at the height of the bookstore’s business day.
“These types of crimes aren’t common,” said Robert Crabb, director of University Bookstores. “We’ve got a number of security measures.”
Crabb declined to comment on the security measures for safety reasons.
He said the suspect managed to somehow break into the display case, retrieve and conceal the pens, and leave without anyone blowing the whistle.
Michelle Learhoff, an employee of the bookstore, said the witnesses who viewed the crime saw the suspect walk into the store, take the items, duck under the entryway on their way out and make haste away from the building.
The suspect is still at large.
ù A domestic assault at Como Housing was reported to University police shortly before 9:30 p.m. Jan. 6.
No one was seriously injured in the dispute, said University Police Detective Marianne Olson.
“It was more like someone getting their fingers slammed in the door,” she said.
According to the police report, the victim’s husband was gone when police arrived. University police are investigating.